Friday, August 10, 2012

Rashful Reminder

A rashful reminder remains from my stroke. The drug that saved my life (the me inside of me), tPA (tissue plasminogen activator, fancy for heavy duty clot-buster), didn't take the first time. They shot it into my arm and they missed; the drug stayed there, though, festered under the skin and soggy like spilled milk under a newspaper. The trauma team eventually found purchase in a vein with another dose, though, sparing my brain. The bruising was hideous.

Now the rash, itchy. Irritating. And I'm thankful, really. It feels good to feel good, afterward. I'm reminded of that every day now, thanks to a little blight on my arm that itches in fits. My nails rake over it, and I go back in time with each scratch. The experience altered my perspective. Life changed in an instant on June 10, 2012.

A stroke occurs when blood flow gets cut off to a part of the brain. Blood clots are often the cause. Read about strokes here.

I don't even know what to say about the stroke itself. I fear my story can be told only so many times before it dries up and fades forever. I was lucky. Many stroke victims are not.

Though I don't know my story yet, or how it should be told, at least there's this...


  1. Get your blood pressure checked today. Do it now. Know what it is, where it should be and how life impacts it. It matters. You should know why it matters.
  2. Watch what goes in your mouth. Diet plays a huge part in all of this.
  3. Get active. I'm not a fitness freak, but my philosophy is to do just a little bit more than you're doing. Ease into any major changes. However, it's vital to buy into the idea that a healthy change will be good for your health.
  4. Know the signs of a stroke, for you or someone you love.
    1. SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
    2. SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
    3. SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
    4. SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
    5. SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.
      Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have any of these symptoms. DON'T HESITATE!


Life is fragile — your life and the lives of people you love and care about. You only think you have time to say the things you want to say, or feel the things you want to feel, before something happens to erase all that time you treat like a blank check.

Say it today. Feel it today.